“When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat.” “You yourselves give them something to eat,” Jesus answered. They asked, “Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?” So Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves and also two fish.” Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. The number of men who were fed was five thousand.” Mark 6:34-44
Tabgha is generally considered the place where Jesus multiplied the loaves of bread and fish to feed the multitudes. The intricate tile work in the buildings caught my eye as my son -in-law does tile work. I also think about the intricate work God does in our lives.
During our trip to Israel, one of the pastors shared from his perspective while we were at this site. What I took out of what was shared: “God will only multiply what we have in our hands and are willing to give to Him. He will ask for all that we have to see if we will trust Him when we have nothing else left to give. If we keep our eyes on circumstances, the need in front of us, or just the thing in our hands, we can never see what God wants to do. We will miss the multiplication only He can produce.“
Today as I was doing my quiet time, I was thinking about what the pastor shared. I was reading about the manna that God gave to the Israelites. Maybe it is no coincidence that God fed the children of Israel manna.
“But he spoke to the sky above and commanded its doors to open; he gave them grain from heaven, by sending down manna for them to eat. So they ate the food of angels, and God gave them all they wanted.” Psalm 78:23-25
As I thought about the manna that God provided to the children of Israel, I picture a sweet bread of sorts. I was reminded of the following Scripture.
““I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.”
Jesus multiplied bread and fish. The fish made me consider what Jesus called His disciples.
“Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.”” Matthew 4:19
As we partake of the Bread of Life, we are more inclined to be fishers of men. As we allow the Bread to multiply in our lives, He will multiply the fish. We have to be willing to surrender all the the Lord. When we lay down everything we have before Him, only then can He begin to multiple for His glory.
The book of John shares another detail about the feeding of the five thousand.
““There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.””
God asks for childlike faith. He says without it we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The boy was willing even though the followers of Jesus, his own disciples were not.
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, asking, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” So Jesus called a child to come and stand in front of them, and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.” Matthew 18:1-4
I know at times I hold back. Like the disciples, at times I want those in need to find their own solution. I have my eyes on the situation. I know I still have a journey back home. I get afraid to give all and have nothing left to serve myself.
This young boy was in the same situation as all the other people. He didn’t turn his eyes to the circumstances of still needing to make it back home and having food for the journey. Instead he gave all that was in his hands. He surrendered it all and Jesus multiplied it to meet the needs of the child and all the other people there. Little is much in the hands of the Savior.
Prayer – Lord, thank you for the lesson at Tagbha Church of the Loaves and Fishes. I want to have the faith of the little boy. I want to be willing to give You everything without hesitation. I don’t want to be like the disciples willing to send people in need away without even looking for a solution. I don’t ask for multiplication to meet my own needs, but Lord You see the needs in my community, show me where to give my bread and fish. I know You can make a way for the rest of the needs to be met.
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